Over the weekend, Pixar’s first princess, Merida, became officially coroneted as Disney’s eleventh princess. This of course, means that Disney recreated Merida in their own image, stylizing her and making her more ‘girly’ than her Pixar counterpart.
Now, Brenda Chapman, co-director of Brave, is lashing out against Disney’s changes to her character.
Chapman had designed the feisty Merida after her own daughter, Emma, hoping to create a realistic princess that could be a good role model.
“There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls,” she told The Independent Journal on Saturday. “Disney marketing and the powers that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves.”
“I think it’s atrocious what they have done to Merida,” she added. “When little girls say they like it because it’s more sparkly, that’s all fine and good but, subconsciously, they are soaking in the sexy ‘come hither’ look and the skinny aspect of the new version. It’s horrible! Merida was created to break that mold — to give young girls a better, stronger role model, a more attainable role model, something of substance, not just a pretty face that waits around for romance.”
Chapman believes that Disney could have still had success with Merida merchandise if they had not bedazzled her.
“They have been handed an opportunity on a silver platter to give their consumers something of more substance and quality — THAT WILL STILL SELL — and they have a total disregard for it in the name of their narrow minded view of what will make money,” Chapman wrote. “I forget that Disney’s goal is to make money without concern for integrity. Silly me.”
Chapman has added her name to a petition of over 50,000 signatures on the female empowerment website, ‘A Mighty Girl,’ protesting the sexualization of Merida with other outraged mothers.
We know that many of our readers have had mixed feelings about Disney’s character changes. While, in one sense, it is understandable that Disney would want to create a 2D Merida to match her fellow princesses, Chapman makes a good point about the severe changes that they made to the character.
What do you think of the Disney-fied Merida? Do you agree with Chapman?